Dealing with different chapters in life


Well, once again it’s that time of the year of celebrating academic accomplishments. Graduations are major milestones that close the door to one chapter, while opening the door to a new chapter. Oftentimes, starting new chapters is met with much apprehension and anxiety.

Starting a new chapter is a shift from the familiar to the uncomfortably unknown. For most of us, predictability is a comfort zone that is safe. Yet, much of life is all about embracing change and being adaptable to those changes. Nothing stays the same. Regardless of where you are today, a new chapter is always on the horizon. Whether you are a recent high school or college graduate, both are pathways to adult independence.

As teenagers, we couldn’t wait to become adults, only to find out that being an adult was not all it was cracked up to be. In the real world, adults have adult responsibilities. Although feeling pushed out of the nest can be uncomfortable, it can also be a liberating journey as well. We’ve all seen the commercial where the parents, after sending the kid off to college, celebrate their newfound freedom. While on the one hand, starting new chapters can be the source of so much joy and celebration. Yet, on the other hand, new chapters can be the source of so much pain.

Oftentimes, we think we know what we want, only to realize it’s not all we expected it to be. Yet, change is an inevitable inescapable part of the fabric of life. Maybe you are an empty nester and you’re wondering what’s next. Maybe you are starting a new career or a new business, or maybe your status has changed. It is important to find your lane. If you’re feeling like you are in the wrong lane, what are you doing to make the necessary adjustments? “The only failure is not trying.” – Robert S. Sharma

A wise person once said, “if you don’t like your life, you can change it.” It is never too late to start a new chapter. At the end of every chapter is a new chapter waiting with the turning of a page. Oftentimes, we overthink our way out of turning the page and pursuing what’s next. Would you rather have a life of “oh wells” or “what ifs”?

Life experiences give us the building blocks for charting new paths. Should the building blocks fall apart, rebuilding them better is always an option. Forrest Gump famously said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’” Forging new chapters requires taking a leap of faith into the unknown.

According to Theo Tsaousides Ph.D in Psychology Today, posted 2017, “Being successful relies to a large extent on knowing how to leverage fear. … Fear of failure keeps you safe, but small. It doesn’t allow you to try new things, to take on new challenges, or to expose yourself to new situations.”

For everyone who is at a crossroad of starting a new journey, you’re not alone. John Maxwell says it best: “Action is what converts human dreams into significance.”

For the all graduates, take that leap of faith as you start your new journey. For the empty nesters, your new chapter is waiting on you. For the new business owner, nothing great has ever been accomplished without some level of risk vs. the reward. For anyone that is thinking about changing careers, what are the pro vs. the cons?

“Let us never confuse stability with stagnation.” – Mary Jean Letendre

Kimberly Strain is pastor at the Outreach Christian Center, 77 London Road, Building B, Delaware.

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